Ski Packs with the Gear Institute

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This past spring I was granted an opportunity to test and review a lineup of ski touring/mountaineering backpacks on behalf of the Gear Institute. The spring ski season here in Colorado provided a perfect venue to give each pack a test run and develop a good sense of what works and what doesn’t in the realm of touring packs. A few days ago the results were published in the form of a head-to-head style review for those looking to purchase a new pack for the upcoming spring season.

To expand on the Gear Institute for just a moment – it’s a website made up of several dozen contributors whose main goal is to provide consumers with news and reviews for gear of all types. Gear Institute strives to ensure an element of fairness and objectivity that can sometimes be lacking in the “give me a free piece of gear and I’ll review it for you” scenario that occurs fairly often in the outdoor industry today. They accomplish this by minimizing conflicts of interest and standardizing the testing/review process to the best of their ability. Gear Institute presents each review as an apples-to-apples comparison of several very similar items within a gear category. A rating system is then created that numerically compares each product in a head-to-head style review, with the ultimate goal being to establish the top product in each gear category for the benefit of consumers looking to purchase a new product. It’s a great concept and one that seems to work well. For more information on how the Gear Institute works, click here.

Anyway, onto the ski pack reviews. The lineup and rankings are below, as well as links to each full review over on the website. For anyone looking to buy a ski touring pack in the near future, I hope you find these reviews to be useful. Happy New Year!

Earn Your Turns: The Best Ski Touring Day Packs of 2015

2 thoughts on “Ski Packs with the Gear Institute

  1. lostinmerica

    Nice. This post would’ve come in handy a while ago when I was in the market for an all-round general mountaineering and BC ski pack. I did try the Kode 30 at the time but replaced it with a Dakine Blade (38L – since I wanted a little extra volume, larger clips and zippers I could manipulate with mittens on. To date this has been my favorite pack. Solid materials, straps, external attachment points / gear loops. I even used it as my overnight + summit pack on the Grand and Rainier carrying 55 lbs of tech and camping gear. The Kode 32 certainly seems an improvement with respect to easily operable clips / zippers over the Kode 30 I looked at when I was shopping.
    P.S.: Good to run into you guys yesterday (as always at the oddest places). Hope Berthoud was sick. Do lets get out on a ski outing this spring.

    1. Ben Post author

      Hey Prakash! The Blade looks sweet. I love Dakine packs – their older Poacher 45 is probably still my overall favorite ski pack I’ve ever owned. The Kode is sweet too, although it’s better for smaller days. It’s almost too small for longer day trips. Sometimes it’s nice not to have to fill a 35L pack to the brim on a standard longer day trip up a peak or whatever, you know? I hear ya on wanting more volume, I like em a little bigger too.
      Berthoud was great the other day. Hope you had a good one at A Basin. Yeah let’s get out! I’ll shoot ya an email…


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